From left, Detroit Lions legend Lomas Brown and center Frank Ragnow celebrate their respective prizes as part of the old school vs. new school fishing competition on Lake St. Clair.

From left, Detroit Lions legend Lomas Brown and center Frank Ragnow celebrate their respective prizes as part of the old school vs. new school fishing competition on Lake St. Clair.

Photo provided by Gud Marketing

Lions’ Ragnow, Brown fish for a cause on Lake St. Clair

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Metro | Published June 6, 2023


METRO DETROIT — It was a true matchup of David vs. Goliath on the waters of Lake St. Clair at Emerald City Harbor in St. Clair Shores May 30.

Detroit Lions legend Lomas Brown, the charter fishing rookie, went toe-to-toe with Lions Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow, the veteran angler.

It was a matchup with unmeasurable magnitude, like a goal line play with both sides of the trenches going at it.

“I’m in his territory,” Brown said. “Now, this is his natural habitat. I’m like the city guy being thrown out into the country right now.”

The objective was to tally the highest total weight of their catches, which was smallmouth bass, but the mission stemmed far beyond the open waters.

In conjunction with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the competition was part of an effort to put a spotlight on Michigan’s charter fishing industry.

Especially with Lake St. Clair as a close body of water for metro Detroiters, Michigan fishing offers vast opportunities.

“It’s one of the best,” Ragnow said. “Lake St. Clair is a great lake, and the fishing opportunities all year round are incredible.”

The beauty of charter fishing is because it’s an excursion-like service, where boat owners and/or professional fishermen will take people out onto the water to fish, anyone can take part in it. Grab a group of family members or friends and enjoy the weather and peacefulness of the lake.

Michigan is widely recognized as one of the best states for fishing, and Ragnow said the experience of charter fishing is unlike any other.

“I think charter fishing in general is such an incredible opportunity, especially for people that may not have access to a boat or may not have access to fishing gear and are interested in tasting the waters and checking it out,” Ragnow said. “Even if you do have access and you want to try something new or learn something because there’s so many different opportunities to learn, and have a great day because at the end of the day, when you’re on the water catching fish or not, it’s going to be a great day.”

It was a great day this time, especially for Brown, who edged Ragnow in the competition with the help of his son, Trey Brown, and received a first place “Fishing with a Pro” trophy, sporting a bass on it. Ragnow, on the other hand, received a last-place ring, but hopefully the ring represents foreshadowing of sorts for the upcoming season.

For now, bragging rights belong to Brown.

“He smoked me,” Ragnow said. “But it was great to see the smile on Lomas’ face when he pulled in that fish.”

“It might come up in conversation on team trips and maybe this trophy will show up at the first home game,” Brown said.

But Ragnow and Brown were fishing for more than just a ceremonial award, for both of their foundations received donations for taking part in the competition.

While also receiving donations, Ragnow and Brown were both able to bring light to their efforts with Frank Ragnow’s “Rags” Remembered Foundation and the Lomas Brown Jr. Foundation being discussed all throughout the day with media members.

“The ‘Rags’ Remembered Foundation is in honor of my dad,” Ragnow said. “I lost him to a heart attack in college, and it’s a foundation I kind of have always been thinking about throughout my career and finally was able to launch a year ago. It’s able to help grieving families kind of get through their grief through the outdoors. It’s also helping underprivileged kids and underprivileged families have access to the outdoors because I’m incredibly grateful for the way I was raised, and grieving through the outdoors, both two-fold, has been great for me.”

Brown then discussed his foundation and the impact it’s made with low-income families, and how his competitive matchup with Ragnow could make for something special in the future.

“It’s geared towards helping our youth in the Southeast Michigan area,” Brown said. “I have sports camps and I do educational camps, and the thing we try to do is make all our programs free to the kids. We never want to put a financial burden on the kids or their families, so we mostly serve the underserved area. I’m just glad my foundation is getting the opportunity to team up with Frank because we’re always looking at ways to try and engage our youth. If I can get them outside, get them fishing, and get them hunting, I think that’s something else to give them an opportunity to do.”

It was a special day between the two gentlemen, who have been close since Ragnow was drafted 20th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Although Brown may have bested him on the water, Ragnow said he has admiration for the Lions legend throughout his time on the Lions.

“Lomas has just been incredible, man,” Ragnow said, standing next to Brown. “Since day one when I stepped foot in Allen Park, he’s been nothing but supportive, respectful, and a great mentor. I’ve been very appreciative of him because he’s always around the facility and he’s always supporting us, especially us big men, and he knows that the more support we can get the better, so I’m just very grateful to have him throughout my career.”

As Brown gave Ragnow a nod and a smile for the recognition, Brown described his relationship with Ragnow as well.

Spoiler alert: Brown is desperately hoping for a Lions Super Bowl.

“It kind of reminded me of when myself and Kevin Glover were drafted, you know, center and tackle, and it’s kind of that way with him and Taylor Decker, with those guys being so close,” Brown said. “I know the relationship me and Kevin Glover had as a center, and just to see Frank and how he’s come along is just unbelievable the steps he’s made towards being the type of player he is. Hopefully this is the year. Man, we want it. I think we want it, maybe worse than they want it.”

For more information or to make a donation to either foundation, visit and